I recently spoke to VARTECH’s Annual BlueStar Conference and was pleased to see this write up of the speech by Jim Roddy. Jim grabbed some of the highlights from my speech and presents them in way I think you’ll enjoy, as well. Nice Bike, Jim! — M.S.

VARTECH 2015 Keynote Asks, “What’s Your 13th Donut?”

By Jim Roddypresident, Business Solutions magazine and Innovative Retail Technologies magazine

VARTECH 2015 Keynote, Mark Scharenbroich (r) with ChannelEyes CEO, Jay McBain (l)VARTECH 2015 keynote speaker Mark Scharenbroich (pictured, right, with ChannelEyes CEO Jay McBain, left) , square-jawed and broad-shouldered, looks like he could be a former NFL fullback. But he’s not a bruiser. His message to several hundred channel executives Sept. 15 was filled with feelings of humility, gratefulness, and the power of a kind word. Following are golden nuggets and top quotes from Scharenbroich’s moving welcome to BlueStar’s annual partner conference:

  • This Scharenbroich question is a good barometer that will help VARs understand and articulate your value add. “You have to exceed your expected value. What is your baker’s dozen? What’s your 13th donut?”
  • Scharenbroich shared a story about a corrugated box company that gained $2 billion in market share across just a few years. When Scharenbroich asked a company executive, “How did you do that?” the answer he received had three parts. “First, we follow the Golden Rule. Second, we over deliver. We beat deadlines. We ask questions to stay ahead of our customers’ needs. And third, we are connected with what we do. We are a family.”
  • Scharenbroich said, “Once our core needs of food, safety, and shelter are met, we need to belong — to a family, a tribe, a team. If we don’t, we’re on the outside looking in. We all need to be acknowledged as well. When people feel who they are and what they do matters, great things happen.”
  • “When you know your clients’ stories, when you know your employees’ stories, they will stick around.”
  • I thought this Scharenbroich quote was especially interesting to hear at a technology conference. “Smartphones connect us. But just like fire can burn us, so can these devices,” he warned. “Instead of looking at each other, families look at their phones. What a wasted opportunity. They’re missing the real scene. You must be present to win.”
  • “If you want to win a raffle, you have to buy a ticket. If you want something in this world, you have to earn it. You have to buy a ticket.”
  • Scharenbroich touched on the concept of customer experience through separate anecdotes about a Rolling Stones concert and the Waffle House restaurant chain. Scharenbroich explained he wasn’t a Stones fan and reluctantly tagged along with friends to a concert but quickly became a fan of the group because of the experience the concert created. “You don’t have to approach every day like a rock star, but you have the chance to create amazing experiences for others every day,” he said. “At Waffle House, they create that experience through special welcomes and genuine goodbyes. Their waitresses say, ‘Hey handsome’ or ‘Hey good-looking’ every time a guy walks in. When they say ‘bye,’ they make it personal by asking questions like, ‘How were your grits?’

“Enjoy the things that are in front of you. Create memories for others. Those people who embrace the journey with more passion bring people with them,” Scharenbroich said.

Scharenbroich is the author of Nice Bike, an inductee into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame, and winner of an Emmy award for an ABC TV special.